Tertiary color

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Page from A New Practical Treatise on the Three Primitive Colours Assumed as a Perfect System of Rudimentary Information by Charles Hayter.

A tertiary color or intermediate color is a color made by mixing full saturation of one primary color with half saturation of another primary color and none of a third primary color, in a color space such as RGB,[1] CMYK (more modern) or RYB[2] (traditional).

Tertiary colors have general names, one set of names for the RGB color wheel and a different set for the RYB color wheel. These names are shown below.

Another definition of tertiary color is provided by color theorists such as Moses Harris[3]and Josef Albers[4], who suggest that tertiary colors are created by intermixing pairs of secondary colors: orange-green, green-purple, purple-orange; or by intermixing complementary colors. This approach to tertiary color relates specifically to color in the form of paints, pigments and dyes.

RGB or CMY primary, secondary, and tertiary colors

Primary, secondary, and tertiary colors of the RGB (CMY) color wheel.

The primary colors in an RGB color wheel are red, green, and blue, because these are the three additive colors—the primary colors of light. The secondary colors in an RGB color wheel are cyan, magenta, and yellow because these are the three subtractive colors—the primary colors of pigment.

The tertiary color names used in the descriptions of RGB (or equivalently CMYK) systems are shown below.

cyan (●) + blue (●) = azure (●)
blue (●) + magenta (●) = violet (●)
magenta (●) + red (●) = rose (●)
red (●) + yellow (●) = orange (●)
yellow (●) + green (●) = chartreuse (●)
green (●) + cyan (●) = spring green (●)

Traditional painting (RYB)

A traditional RYB color wheel.

The primary colors in an RYB color wheel are red, yellow, and blue. The secondary colors — orange, green, and purple — are made by combining the primary colors.

In the red–yellow–blue system as used in traditional painting and interior design, tertiary colors are typically named by combining the names of the adjacent primary and secondary.[5][6]

red (●) + orange (●) = vermilion (red-orange) (●)
orange (●) + yellow (●) = amber (yellow-orange)[7] (●)
yellow (●) + green (●) = chartreuse (yellow-green) (●)
green (●) + blue (●) = teal (blue-green)[7] (●)
blue (●) + purple (●) = violet (blue-purple) (●)
purple (●) + red (●) = magenta (red-purple) (●)

Tertiary- and quaternary-color terms

The terms for the RYB tertiary colors are not set. For the six RYB hues intermediate between the RYB primary and secondary colors, the names amber/marigold (yellow–orange), vermilion/cinnabar (red–orange), magenta (red–purple), violet/indigo (blue–purple), teal/aqua (blue-green), and chartreuse/lime green (yellow–green) are commonly found. The names for the twelve quaternary colors are more variable, if they exist at all, though indigo and scarlet are standard for blue–violet and red–vermilion.

In another sense, a tertiary color is obtained by mixing secondary-colored pigments. These three colors are russet (orange–purple), slate (purple–green), and citron (green–orange), with the corresponding three quaternary colors plum (russet–slate), sage (slate–citron), buff (citron–russet) (with olive sometimes used for either slate or citron).[8][9] Beyond that are shades of grey blue grey , which approach but never quite reach black.

The RYB color terminology outlined above and in the color samples shown below is ultimately derived from the 1835 book Chromatography, an analysis of the RYB color wheel by George Field, a chemist who specialized in pigments and dyes.[10]

RYB colors produced by mixing equal amounts of secondary and subsequent colors[11]
Secondary 
  yellow
  orange
  red
  purple
  blue
  green
  yellow
Tertiary 
  orange
  russet
  purple
  slate
  green
  citron
  orange
Quaternary 
  russet
  plum
  slate
  sage
  citron
  buff
  russet
Quinary 
  plum
  blue grey
  sage
  khaki
  buff
  puce
  plum
RYB and HSV colors produced by mixing proportional amounts of primary colors
Tertiary RYB[11]     
  yellow
  amber
  orange
  vermilion
  red
  magenta
  purple
  violet
  blue
  teal
  green
  chartreuse
  yellow
Quaternary RYB[11]     
  yellow
  golden yellow
  amber
  orange peel
  orange
  persimmon
  vermilion
  scarlet
  red
  crimson
  magenta
  aubergine
  purple
  amethyst
  violet
  indigo
  blue
  cerulean
  teal
  viridian
  green
  apple green
  chartreuse
  lemon lime
  yellow
Quinary RYB[11]     
  yellow
  lemon yellow
  golden yellow
  sunglow
  amber
  selective yellow
  orange peel
  tangerine
  orange
  carrot
  persimmon
  tangelo
  vermilion
  coquelicot
  scarlet
  apple red
  red
  carmine red
  crimson
  rose
  magenta
  mulberry
  aubergine
  orchid
  purple
  heliotrope
  amethyst
  grape
  violet
  pansy
  indigo
  ultramarine
  blue
  sapphire
  cerulean
  azure
  teal
  pine green
  viridian
  emerald
  green
  fern green
  apple green
  pistachio
  chartreuse
  pear
  lemon lime
  starship
  yellow
Tertiary HSV
  yellow
  orange
  red
  rose
  magenta
  violet
  blue
  azure
  cyan
  spring green
  green
  chartreuse
  yellow
Quaternary HSV
  yellow
  amber
  orange
  vermilion
  red
  crimson
  rose
  cerise
  magenta
  purple
  violet
  indigo
  blue
  cerulean
  azure
  capri
  cyan
  aquamarine
  spring green
  erin
  green
  harlequin
  chartreuse
  lime
  yellow
Tertiary HSV
  Bright (Red)
  Pale (Red)
  White
Quaternary HSV
  Bright (Red)
  Semipale (Red)
  Pale (Red)
  Extrapale (Red)
  White
Tertiary HSV
  Bright (Red)
  Dark (Red)
  Black
Quaternary HSV
  Bright (Red)
  Semidark (Red)
  Dark (Red)
  Extradark (Red)
  Black
Tertiary HSV
  Bright (Red)
  Pale (Red)
  White
  Dark (Red)
  Dull (Red)
  Mid Gray
  Black
  Black
  Black
Tertiary RGB min/max
  Bright (Red)
  Pale (Red)
  White
  Dark (Red)
  Mid Gray
  Black
Quaternary RGB min/max
  Bright (Red)
  Semipale (Red)
  Pale (Red)
  Extrapale (Red)
  White
  Semidark (Red)
  Faded (Red)
  Weak (Red)
  Light Gray
  Dark (Red)
  Dull (Red)
  Mid Gray
  Extradark (Red)
  Dark Gray
  Black

Comparison of RGB and RYB color wheels

Unlike the RGB (CMY) color wheel, the RYB color wheel has no scientific basis. The RYB color wheel was invented centuries before the 1890s, when it was found by experiment that magenta, yellow, and cyan are the primary colors of pigment, not red, yellow, and blue.

The RGB (CMY) color wheel has largely replaced the traditional RYB color wheel because it is possible to display much brighter and more saturated colors using the primary and secondary colors of the RGB (CMY) color wheel. In the terminology of color theory, RGB color space (CMY color space) has a much larger color gamut than RYB color space.

See also

References

  1. ^ Marcus Weise and Diana Weynand (2007). How Video Works. Focal Press. ISBN 0-240-80933-5.
  2. ^ Stan Place and Bobbi Ray Madry (1990). The Art and Science of Professional Makeup. Thomson Delmar Learning. ISBN 0-87350-361-9.
  3. ^ Moses Harris (1766). The Natural System of Colours. Laidler.
  4. ^ Josef Albers (1963). Interaction of Color. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-01846-0.
  5. ^ Adrienne L. Zihlman (2001). The Human Evolution Coloring Book. HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-273717-1.
  6. ^ Kathleen Lochen Staiger (2006). The Oil Painting Course You've Always Wanted: Guided Lessons for Beginners and Experienced Artists. Watson-Guptill. ISBN 0-8230-3259-0.
  7. ^ a b Susan Crabtree and Peter Beudert (1998). Scenic Art for the Theatre: History, Tools, and Techniques. Focal Press. ISBN 0-240-80187-3.
  8. ^ William J. Miskella, 1928, Practical Color Simplified: A Handbook on Lacquering, Enameling, Coloring And Painting, pp
  9. ^ John Lemos, 1920, "Color Charts for the School Room", in School Arts, vol. 19, pp 580–584
  10. ^ Maerz and Paul (1930). A Dictionary of Color. New York. p. 154.
  11. ^ a b c d RGB approximations of RYB tertiary colors, using cubic interpolation."Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-06-28. Retrieved 2012-12-29.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) The colors are paler than a simple mixture of paints would produce. For the darker, true secondary colors, see secondary color. Pure tertiary colors would be darker still.
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